Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX and its parent company, the newly established 100x Group, recently led a Series A funding round for South African Bitcoin trading platform VALR and raised a total of $3.4 million. It also saw the participation of other companies such as Bittrex, which led its previous funding round in 2019 that raised $1.5 million, Jordaan and 4Di Capital, according to local media Disrupt Africa.
“South Africa has an incredibly exciting and fast-growing cryptocurrency ecosystem, and we believe VALR is well-placed to capitalize on future growth of bitcoin trading. In VALR we’re backing not only a successful early-stage business, but a management team with the ability to scale operations significantly,” Arthur Hayes, CEO and co-founder of BitMEX and the 100x Group said.
VALR will be using the funds to further develop its products and services, and also support the expansion of its team to better drive progress of its business in the region. It is estimated that 10% of South Africans either own or have owned Bitcoin where 60% of citizens across the African continent under the age of 25 are aware of or use cryptocurrencies, this is a market with immense potential waiting to be explored. There has been increased demand for peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchanges as well, especially in states such as Kenya, Ghana, Namibia and West Africa.
In a global economy currently troubled by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this goes to show that it is an opportune time to accelerate progress and investments into harnessing the power of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
“I am very grateful that despite the challenging global COVID-19 pandemic that has adversely affected many businesses around the world, VALR has been able to grow at a phenomenal pace and we’ve been able to raise funds and partner with a set of world-class investors, adding to our already distinguished group of shareholders,” said Farzam Ehsani, VALR’s CEO and co-founder.
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